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Photo by Zack Powell
Photo by Zack Powell

Lions Suffer 66-32 Loss at EMU

HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Penn State Altoona women's basketball team was unable to get on track offensively Tuesday night, when the Lions lost 66-32 to non-conference opponent Eastern Mennonite University in the Yoder Arena.

Eastern Mennonite (3-3) limited Penn State Altoona (1-5) to just 10 field goals made, and Royals also used a big, 29-point second quarter to break the game open.

Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) tied for the game-high in points, scoring 12 to go along with six rebounds and two steals. Ellie Matthews (Kennett Square, PA/Kennett) tied for the most rebounds in the game with 10, led all players with three blocks, and added six points.

Megan Hartman (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) chipped in five points and two assists, while Sarah Huston (Coatesville, PA/Coatesville) had four points and two steals.

Eastern Mennonite was led in scoring by Brii Redfearn, who finished with 12 points. Laila Glymph and Zebe Rhodes scored 10 points apiece for the Royals, and Constance Komara secured 10 rebounds.

Penn State Altoona struggled to get into a rhythm on offense during the first half, managing just 17 points while connecting on six shots from the field.

The first quarter was low-scoring, and Eastern Mennonite found itself on top by the conclusion of a period during which the two teams combined for only 15 points. Layups by Cannistraci and Matthews put Penn State Altoona up 4-0 by the 7:40 mark, and the Lions held that advantage until the home team finally got its first points of the game at 5:08 on Glymph's put-back score. The Royals put six more points on the board to complete an 8-0 run, but the Lions narrowed their deficit to 8-7 following Jordan Bisignani's (Venetia, PA/Peters Township) layup at 2:10 and Huston's free throw at 1:29.

Eastern Mennonite turned its one-point lead into a 20-point halftime advantage, as the Royals outscored Penn State Altoona 29-10 during the second quarter. Two early three-pointers by Rhodes and a layup from Glymph gave Eastern Mennonite a 16-7 lead, but Huston put an end to the run with a three-pointer of her own at 7:43 that brought the Lions back to within two possessions, 16-10. However, the Royals added 21 more points to their total from that point and grew their lead to 37-17 by the intermission.

In the third quarter, Penn State Altoona held Eastern Mennonite to 13 points, but the Royals still added four points to their lead over the Lions by the period's end. Cannistraci hit two shots to account for four of Penn State Altoona's nine points in the quarter.

Eastern Mennonite held a 16-6 scoring advantage during the fourth quarter. Cannistraci made a layup and two foul shots to score four of her team's six points during the period.

Next, the Penn State Altoona women's basketball team will prepare to start its Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference schedule, as the Lions travel this Sunday, November 28 to take on Alfred State College in a game starting at 2:00 p.m.